Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Stranded Christmas Nog

For almost everyone--no matter your creed, custom, or nation--the lead-up to Christmas can be thrilling, exciting, nerve wracking, stressful; and then you have those few precious moments somewhere between dusk on Christmas Eve and noon on Christmas day where you have some heartwarming peace, some happiness, something that makes your heart light. But then come the Christmas doldrums. Whatever needed to be assembled has been assembled and discarded; whatever needed to be eaten got eaten; whoever needed to be called got called...and then boredom sets in. Especially when the weather is gray and there's no snow and you are in a house full of cooped-up crabbies . . .  you start to think about the papers you haven't graded or the memo you haven't written or the bills you have to pay . . . it's the icky time. Why not keep yourself busy and make eggnog instead? That's what I did.

Boozy Holiday Doldrums Eggnog

6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar, and a separate 1/4 cup of sugar
2 cups half and half
2 cups whole milk
1 cup dark rum
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Beat egg yolks in a mixer and slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar until the mixture turns a light yellow. Add in 2 cups of half and half and 1 cup of rum. Set aside. Beat egg whites, and then add 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp nutmeg until the egg whites begin to form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites gently into the egg yolk mixture, alternating with the remaining 2 cups of milk. Decant into a glass jar and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Garnish with more nutmeg (and depending on how crabby your family is, a bit more booze). Enjoy!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Joy of Carrot Bread

If you ever find yourself with extra carrots and an hour and a half to kill, this is what you should do.

I searched all over for a good carrot bread recipe to adapt so that I could add my new favorite supplement, chia seeds. The internet yielded nothing but extra-sweet carrot cake, so I turned to the trusty old Joy of Cooking and found a basic quickbread recipe on page 625. JoC never fails me. This bread turned out moist and nutty. I grated the carrots coarsely.

Carrot Chia Pecan Bread

1 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
3 tblsp chia seeds
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, sift the flours, baking soda, and spices. In a smaller bowl, whisk the beaten eggs with the sugar. Add the chia, olive oil, vanilla, and salt. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Fold in the carrots and nuts. Spoon into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.